Hazon Festival in 2019
The photo above is from 2019. Hazon estimates 7,000 people enjoyed the festival in 2019. (John Hardwick)

Hazon festival has a new format and location.

The Hazon Michigan Jewish Food Festival is back. The 2021 version will be celebrated safely and at a new location on Sunday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. as participants drive through the grounds of the Marygrove Conservancy at McNichols and Wyoming avenues Detroit.

The festival is Hazon’s largest event in the country. The purpose of the festival is to educate people on how they can be more sustainable and live a healthier life — and to find out what organizations do to help make a difference.

The festival was held at Eastern Market in Detroit for four years. The last in-person festival in 2019 was estimated to draw about 7,000 people.

Not being able to meet in-person last year, Hazon created the Food Festival in a Box, seeking to connect people to local entrepreneurs making healthy products from local ingredients. Hazon knew knew they had to come up with something different this year. With the uncertainty of the pandemic, the solution was to turn it into a drive-thru event.

“We’re putting together in 10 weeks what normally I would spend 10 months doing,” said Marla Schloss, Hazon Detroit’s Food Festival manager.

Cars will go from station to station, about one minute at each, to hear how Hazon and its partners are supporting and/or making a sustainable difference, taste samples of foods, receive goodies, giveaways and prepared activities.

Since this is a drive-thru event and there are limited spots, registration is required. The event can handle 40 cars an hour and 280 cars total.

“What’s very important for us is this is an event that when people come away, they will feel a personal commitment to making change and creating a more sustainable world for all,” Schloss said. “It could have to do with reducing household waste or food waste, transitioning to a plant-rich diet, reducing energy, getting to grow and buy local or to buy less. These are the key areas we want people to learn about and commit to, and they’re going to receive this information throughout the festival.”

Thanks to the William Davidson Foundation and D. Dan & Betty Kahn Foundation, the event is free once again.

To participate in the festival as a volunteer, sponsor, vendor or organizational partner, or if you have questions about the festival, contact Marla Schloss at marla.schloss@hazon.org.

For information, visit hazon.org/detroit/michigan-jewish-food-festival.

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